The Wright Museum

Slavery At Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty


How could the author of the Declaration of Independence own slaves? How could twenty percent of the population of the new United States, founded on the principles of liberty and equality, be forced to live in bondage? What was life like for enslaved people in the early republic? Who was Sally Hemings? This exhibition uses Monticello as a lens through which to examine these questions.


Upcoming Events

She Took Justice: 400 Years of Perseverance | Speaker: Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, J.D., M.A. on March 21 at 6 PM

“When Slavery Is Erased From Plantations” | Speaker: Talitha LeFlouria, Ph.D. on March 26 at 6 PM






















Past Events

Thomas Jefferson & Slavery: Treason Against the Hopes of Mankind | Speaker: Paul Finkelman, Ph.D. on Jan. 15, 2019 from 6 - 7:30 PM

Discovering Monticello: A Descendant’s Search for Her Family’s Lost Heritage | Speaker: Gayle Jessup White on Feb. 5, 2019 from 6 - 7:30 PM

Decolonizing the Mind: A Conversation between Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Ph.D. & Gloria House, Ph.D. on Feb. 26 at 6 PM

Decolonizing the Mind: A Community Workshop | Speaker: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Ph.D. on Feb. 27 at 6 PM

George Washington & Ona Judge, His Runaway Slave | Speaker: Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Ph.D. on March 9 at 2 PM

Additional Resources

The Life of Sally Hemings - 

Educational Recollection of Enslaved Man: Isaac Granger Jefferson - 

The Slavery at Monticello App -